Well, that sure was a kick in the teeth. Remember being so excited for the season? And then we beat the Lakers and there were visions of sneaking into the playoffs? Yeahhhh, those were the days. On Wednesday, the Kings made the Nuggets look like the Harlem Globetrotters. The disgusting defensive effort of the Memphis game continued without a hiccup, allowing Denver to run the Kings out of the gym, 110-83. No effort. No clue. No chance.
WESTPHAL COUNTDOWN BEGINS – Place your bets. How much longer does Westphal have? I thought two weeks before the game, but after watching another pile of crap, he might not make it that long. The team shows no signs of life, no organization, no improvement. And that’s the key with a young team. We’re not moving in the right direction. When that happens, it falls on the coach. Keith Smart could be sliding down one seat in the near future.
BIG NIGHT FOR BOOGIE – It’s really hard to gauge any player performances when the whole game is basically garbage time. But DeMarcus Cousins (26 PTS, 9-12 FG, 8-9 FT, 3 REB, 3 BLK, 3 STL) played his best game of the season. Minimized his reckless takes to the hoop and instead focused on the basket. His midrange jumper was falling, making him a tough cover for Kosta Koufos and Chris Andersen. Cousins probably regains the starting role soon, and I’m not so sure it shouldn’t be for Chuck Hayes, at least until Chuck gets in shape. J.J. Hickson (6 PTS, 4 REB, 23 MIN) is one of the few players on the roster bringing energy to the table and it would be a shame to see him banished to the bench.
SALMONS NOT THE ANSWER – I’d say 99% of Kings fans were heated when we dealt away Beno Udrih for Salmons and the “right” to move down in the draft. I was one of those people, but after a while, I decided, “Hey, maybe he’s changed a little. Maybe he can be a steady presence.” Ehhhh, not so much. Salmons (1-7 FG, 3 PTS) is just another dribble-first player in an offense already full of them. He’s not a great spot-up shooter and doesn’t move well without the ball. We need a small forward who can bury open shots and find holes in the defense. Salmons is on the books for at least two more seasons, a depressing thought.
OTHER OBSERVATIONS – Tyreke (8 PTS, 3-10 FG, 5 REB, 3 AST) dealt with illness, reportedly vomiting at halftime. Choose your favorite joke here or here … The Kings shot 32.3% from the floor and 2-for-21 from downtown. No bueno … The Nuggets shot 60.5% from the floor. Crazy … Marcus Thornton (23 PTS, 8-20 FG, 4 REB) was the only King besides DMC to score double figures. Gotta love the guy’s heart and no matter what happens with the rest of the roster, he’s a no-doubt keeper. He’s the type of player who has the attitude to become a leader as he gains experience.